George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Public Administration Courses (PUAD)


Public and International Affairs

502 Theory and Practice of Public Administration (3:3:0). Survey and review of the field of public administration to include development of U.S. governmental administration, theories of administrative organization and behavior, administrative processes, management of people and money, administrative responsibility, and the public policy-making/public policy-implementation nexus.

504 Managing in the International Arena: Theory and Practice (3:3:0). Theoretical and empirical examination of the international system that both affects, and is affected by, the decisions, behaviors, and subsystems of state and nonstate (organizational) actors.

505 Introduction to Management of Nonprofits (1-3:3:0). Examination of nonprofit organizations and their role in contemporary society. The aspects of nonprofits that make them unique are explored to include voluntary governance, tax-exempt status, nonprofit corporation law, accounting practices, fund raising, finance, and management of volunteers. Emphasis is placed on the board/executive relationship and the value of establishing and maintaining a nonprofit organization's reputation.

610 Managing Information Resources (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Admission to M.P.A. program or permission of instructor. Examination of how managerial and analytical functions in public organizations can be performed via end-user computer applications. The course provides in-depth coverage of selected database and decision support packages, and gives attention to logic and integration of application software.

611 Problem Solving and Data Analysis I (3:3:0). Prerequisites: Statistics proficiency and PUAD 610. Techniques and skills available to, and used by, public managers to solve policy-related problems or to analyze policy-related data. Focus is on problem definition, research design, and problem solving under conditions of uncertainty in the public sector.

612 Problem Solving and Data Analysis II (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 611. Techniques and skills available to, and used by, public managers to solve policy-related problems or to analyze policy-related data. Focus is on data gathering and analysis, use of computers, systems theory and analysis, and operations research.

615 Administrative Law (3:3:0). Law as a guiding and controlling force in public-sector operations. The course covers application of legal processes to administrative practices and situations, and administrative determination of private rights and obligations.

620 Organization Theory and Management Behavior (3:3:0). Consideration of behavior within the context of public organization and the consequent changes required in management. Focus on such issues as perception, attitude formation, motivation, leadership, systems theory, communication and information flow, conflict theory, and decision theory.

621 Principles and Practices in Government Organization and Management (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 620. Major management theories applicable to the American federal system. Emphasis is on organization, structure, and operations. The relationship of theories to management practices in contemporary American administration is explored.

622 Program Planning and Implementation (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 620. Practical exploration of implementing public law in the American federal system. Construction of organizational apparatus, development of operational plans, and systems of control and evaluation necessary to implement government programs are studied. Emphasis is on coordinating tasks and resources required for effective program implementation.

632 The Political Economy of Development (3:3:0). Design, implementation, and evaluation of development projects and programs, with emphasis on management and organizational strategies and processes to accomplish development goals. Particular attention is given to socioeconomic-political environments and organizations' structures and routines in the Third World context.

634 Management of International Security (3:3:0). Examination of theory and practice of managing international security. Emphasis is on interplay of organizational structure and bureaucratic dynamics in the international context. Theory and practice of crisis management, and coordination and comparison of security methods and techniques, are presented.

635 Selected Problems of Development (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of department. Third World development problems, including development management, a new international economic order, foreign aid, multinational corporations, and international organizations. May be repeated with permission of department.

636 The NGO: Managing the International Nonprofit Organization (1-3:3:0). The unique aspects of nonprofit organizations operating in international environments, particularly in relief and development work. The relationship between the NGO and U.S. and foreign governments is examined. International philanthropy, cross-cultural understanding, and key managerial concerns such as communications, planning, human resource management, control, group process, and project evaluation are covered.

640 Public Policy Process (3:3:0). Processes of making public policy, including detection of public issues, consideration of alternatives, and adoption and implementation of solutions. The course highlights the major actors in the policy process, as well as the environment within which they work.

643 Public Policy Research (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 640. Examination of major concepts, designs, and methods used in applied policy research. The underlying logic of policy inquiry, and the use of quantitative and qualitative techniques, is explored. The course includes case applications of each of the major styles of inquiry, and the steps in planning, administering, and reporting policy research.

644 Public Policy Models (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 640. Approaches to modeling policy problems. The course includes an analysis and comparison of the dominant paradigms in the policy sciences. The assumptions and implications of different models and their utility for analysis, implementation, and evaluation are reviewed.

651 Administration in the Commonwealth of Virginia (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 502. Cultural, demographic, constitutional, and socioeconomic environment of public administration in Virginia. Governmental agencies, legislative functions, executive leadership, staff agencies, state-local relationships, intrastate regionalism, and administrative customs peculiar to Virginia are covered.

660 Public and Nonprofit Financial Management (3:3:0). Survey of public financial management focusing on administration and management issues: governmental accounting, financial reporting, auditing, budget and revenue administration, cash and investment management, debt management, pension and employee benefit financing, procurement, and risk management.

661 Public Budgeting Systems (3:3:0). Survey focusing on the policy and theoretical framework of revenue and expenditure choices at all levels of government. Topics include development, theories, and structure of budgeting; political, economic, and managerial aspects of public budgeting; public policy implications; and budgetary reform movements and their successes and failures.

664 Advanced Topics in Nonprofit Budgeting and Accounting (1-3:3:0). Focus on fiscal management for nonprofit organizations. Attention is given to basic double-entry accounting, fund accounting for nonprofits, and control issues in management. Students learn to read financial statements and examine such issues as investment policies, endowment management, and reporting to grant sources. Budget theory and process with special emphasis on the policy and human resource implications of budgeting in nonprofit organizations are discussed.

670 Personnel Administration in the Public Sector (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 502. Public and private personnel management and the historical development of the civil service. Emphasis is on processes involved in selection and management of personnel in public organizations. Selected problems and their impact on public personnel systems are presented.

671 Public Employee Labor Relations (3:3:0). Public employee labor relations, including unionization, representational elections, bilateral policy negotiations, administration of agreements, management rights, union and membership security, the strike issue and grievance procedures, impact on public administration, and assessment of future developments.

672 Methods in Public Personnel Management (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 670. Introduction to some of the more important basic methods used in public personnel management and administration, including workforce planning and analysis, job evaluation and compensation, examination and selection, workforce management, and training and development.

681 The Community, Media Relations, and Fund Raising (1-3:3:0). The interface between the nonprofit organization and the community is critical to the organization's success. The course focuses on marketing and communications issues as they apply to the nonprofit's identification of its market, ability to raise money, and reputation and image within the community. Crisis management, public writing and speaking, building of positive relationships with the media, and development of external funding sources are discussed.

700 Ethics and Public Administration (3:3:0). To be taken in the final two semesters of the M.P.A. program. Topics of ethical dimensions including constitutionalism, democratic values and traditions, standards of conduct and ethics, and conflicting values of public officials and social equity of public programs.

701 Cross-Cultural and Ethical Dimensions of International Management (3:3:0). To be taken in the final two semesters of the M.P.A. program. Examination of normative issues in management of programs in international context. Emphasis is on interplay of cultural, sociopolitical, legal, and ethical factors and on management and policy problems arising from conflicting goals, values, and inequities among nations and regions.

702 Nonprofit Law, Governance, and Ethics (1-3:3:0). Overview of nonprofit governance as well as basic contract, labor, and tax law issues within nonprofit corporation law. The relationship between the board and the executive is covered, and ethics topics typical to nonprofit organizations such as self-dealing, fiduciary responsibility, and human resource issues.

720 Performance Evaluation for Managers (1-3:3:0). Methods used by managers to systematically assess performance. The course includes practical tools such as focus groups, survey research, cost/benefit analysis, benchmarking, and comparison methods for revealing outcomes and impacts. The course prepares managers to use information more effectively in developing programs and services and formulating policy, and covers reporting techniques to communicate performance results.

727 Seminar in Risk Assessment and Decision Making (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 graduate hours. Examination of decision making under risk and uncertainty. Readings introduce the major intellectual perspectives on the topic and are drawn from a variety of disciplines, including biology, economics, law, and psychology. Emphasis is on making actual decisions under uncertainty.

729 Issues in Public Management (1-3:3:0). Prerequisites: PUAD 502 and nine graduate hours. May be repeated with different topic. Current issues in management of public organizations in contemporary American government. Practical applications of theories and analysis to managerial problems are included. Competence in improving management in selected government settings is emphasized.

730 Professional Development Workshop (1-3:3:0). Exploration of external and interal factors that are reshaping public and nonprofit organizations. Investigation of processes and techniques that managers and staff can use to respond to rapid environmental change. Emphasis is placed on case studies and the application of techniques and processes.

731 International Political Economy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 graduate hours. Theories and issues pertaining to the production and distribution of wealth and power in the modern world. The course explores the history of political economy as a field of study and applies concepts to current issues.

732 Managing Technology Transfer (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 graduate hours. Examination of how governments, businesses, and international organizations manage cooperation and competition in the transfer of technology. Case studies on East-West, West-West, and North-South relations are included.

733 Managing International Competition and Cooperation (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 graduate hours. Alternative perspectives on the role of the public sector in stimulating international economic development. Emphasis is on the role that governing institutions can play both to promote the productivity of businesses within the United States, and to facilitate cooperation in the international arena.

738 Issues in International Security (1-3:3:0). Prerequisites: PUAD 504 and nine graduate hours. May be repeated with different topic. Examination of issues of topical interest in the general area of international security. Possible topics include nuclear strategy, disarmament, American defense policy, and international terrorism.

739 Issues in International Management (1-3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 graduate hours. May be repeated with different topic. Examination of significant current issues in public international management. Emphasis is on practical applications of theories and analysis of problems in the public international management arena. Competence in improving management practices in international management settings.

741 Policy Analysis (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 PUAD hours including 611 and 640. Introduction of concepts and techniques for formal policy analysis, development of skills in applying policy analysis techniques through case studies, and exploration of the legitimacy and utility of policy analysis.

742 Program Evaluation (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 graduate hours including PUAD 611. Practical exploration of assessment techniques used in studying the results of public programs and policies, including evaluation of implementation strategies and impacts. The course draws on multiple approaches such as cost analysis, field research, experiments, productivity analysis, surveys and questionnaires, and qualitative studies.

749 Issues in Public Policy (1-3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 graduate hours. May be repeated with different topic. Examination of significant current issues in public policy in contemporary American government. Emphasis is on practical applications of theories and analysis to policy problems. Competence in improving policy analysis in selected government settings is also emphasized.

750 Changing Patterns of Governance (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 12 PUAD hours. Examination of broad trends in governance, including both the theory and practice of various governance choices. These choices include privatization, decentralization of governmental activity, grants-in-aid and growth of mandates, changing role of state and local governments, proposals for reforming federalism, and regulatory reform.

759 Issues in Local Government Administration (1-3:3:0). Prerequisites: PUAD 502 and nine graduate hours. May be repeated with different topic. Management and policy formulation in American local governments. The course addresses environments, institutions, and actors involved. Contemporary problems such as education, criminal justice, transportation, land use, economic development, and environmental impact are examined.

769 Advanced Studies in Public Financial Management (1-3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 660 or 661. Current issues in budgeting and financial management in contemporary American government. Practical applications of administration and management issues and policy choices at all levels of government are emphasized.

794 Internship (1-6:0:0). Prerequisite: 21 PUAD hours or permission of instructor. Open only to M.P.A. Students. Contact internship coordinator one semester before enrollment. Work-study programs with specific employers. Credit is determined by the department.

796 Directed Readings and Research (1-3:0:0). Prerequisites: 21 PUAD hours and permission of instructor. Reading and research on a specific topic under the direction of a faculty member. A written report is required; oral examination over the research and report may be required. May be repeated once.

798 Research Project (1-3:0:0). Prerequisites: 21 PUAD hours and permission of instructor. Completion of an original research project related to public-sector administration. On the basis of the approved research design, each student prepares and defends a final report that is the result of the research project. The final report must be approved by the Department of Public and International Affairs.

801 Philosophical Theories of Political Communities (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Acceptance into doctoral program. Philosophical understandings of political states, authority, and community. Emphasis is on theories that have been most influential in the tradition of Western thought.

804 Conduct of Social Inquiry I: Research Design (3:3:0). Assumptions and logic of different research designs and data collection techniques and research as an exercise in theory building. The course is designed to enable candidates to do original research and to critique the research of others.

805 Conduct of Social Inquiry II: Quantitative Analysis (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Course in statistical analysis. Data collection and analysis using a statistical computer software package. Emphasis is on causal analysis.

821 Doctoral Seminar in Theories of Organization and Bureaucracy (3:3:0). Prerequisite: PUAD 620 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Examination of key issues in organization theory and behavior. Issues include organization design, interorganizational coordination, intelligence and decision-making systems, leadership and motivation theories, and theories or organizations as agents of political and social change. Case studies are used.

823 Doctoral Seminar in Policy Analysis and Evaluation (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and adviser. Quantitative and qualitative approaches and techniques used in recognizing, defining, and assessing public issues and problems. Conceptualizing and assessing problems, employing and judging the strengths and weaknesses of tools and techniques, and identifying and categorizing the information required for competent analysis and evaluation are studied.

824 Models of Policy Design and Implementation (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor or adviser. Approaches to the analysis of public policy, including the role of values in policy analysis, assumptions in modeling policy problems, the organizational context of policy studies, and institutions for designing and implementing policies.

825 Doctoral Seminar: Current Issues in Public Management (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Permission of instructor and adviser. Major issues confronting public management, such as restructuring organizations, strategic management, leadership, and performance reviews. Analysis of current proposals for reform of public management.

840/PUBP 840 Research Seminar in Policy Governance I (2:2:0) to (4:3:1) (variable credit). Prerequisite: Admission into Public Policy Ph.D. program. A survey of the major institutions that formulate and implement public policy in the United States. The course examines translation of public preferences into public policy and decisions about which societal and economic functions are most appropriately carried out by governments and which are best accomplished by private institutions and individuals.

841/PUBP 841 Research Seminar in Policy Governance II (2:2:0) to (4:3:1). This course is the second of a two-semester sequence (PUAD 840, 841) in the Governance and Management Policy track. The division of responsibilities among the several levels of government and between the public and private sectors. The course focuses on the impact of these divisions on the development of public policy in several policy areas, such as urban governance, environmental policy, and health care.

998 Doctoral Proposal Research (1-6:0:0). Prerequisite: Permission of adviser. Work on a research proposal that forms the basis for a doctoral dissertation.

999 Doctoral Dissertation (1-24:0:0). Prerequisite: Permission of participant's dissertation committee. Registration for the total credit hours may be spread over a multisemester contiguous period. Ph.D. candidates must register for at least three hours each semester until the dissertation is completed.


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